When you are making Almond milk kefir there are a few things that you will need to keep in mind as there are a few major differences between homemade dairy milk kefir and homemade Almond milk kefir.
The first is that almond milk kefir will not thicken like dairy milk kefir does. This is due to the different proteins and fat contents in the milk so whilst your almond milk kefir will taste yummy it is not going to be thick and creamy.
The other difference is that you are much more likely to see separation with this type of milk and it is likley to look a bit like it has curdled. This is Normal and is just a reaction to the acid that is created when the bacteria multiply. Simply stir or swirl to get the curds and whey back together.
Almond milk kefir should taste like a tangy and sour kefir that is very similar in taste to milk kefir but with a nice almond aftertaste.
Almond milk is not a vegan option and is very low in dairy but not completely dairy free.
Which Almond Milk to use:
Homemade almond milk is preferable to shop bought as it has not been pasteurised and is as fresh as it can be and i find it cultures best. Home made almond milk also seems top be richer and creamier possibly because again it has not been pasturised and so there are more enzymes and beneficial organisms in the milk. I am not saying that you cannot use shop bought Almond milk but it will not make a kefir that is as nice as homemade.
What do you need?
- 1 Tablespoon of Milk kefir grains that have been established in dairy milk. If you are using dehydrated grains please ensure that they have been activated in dairy milk and you have been using them for at least 3 weeks to ensure that they are fully activated. The grains can be rinsed in unchlorinated water to remove the dairy if you wish but this is not great for the grains so only do if necessary.
- Almond Milk 400-500ml (if shop bought use sweetened, if homemade add two teaspoons of sugar)
Please note: THIS MUST BE DONE CAREFULLY as you do not want to damage or kill your grains. Using any live culture in a medium that it is not initially intended for can damage the grains if not done correctly, also culturing dairy milk grains in almond milk can often give mixed and sometimes unpredictable results.
please remember that whilst the grains will happily ferment the almond milk generally with dairy milk kefir the dairy milk is feeding the grains to keep them alive too, with that in mind we do not recommend that you make almond milk kefir over and over again with ethe same grains. The grains will need to be put back into dairy milk at least once in every 3-4 brews to ensure that the grains stay happy and healthy and you should only use grains that have been well established and settled in dairy milk.
How to make it:
- Add the sugar to the almond milk and stir it in (if you are using shop bought milk you do not need to do this)
- stir until all the sugar is dissolved
- Add the milk kefir grains and stir gently with a non-metal spoon
- Cover the jar with a piece of kitchen paper or tight weave brew cloth or coffee filter and secure with an elastic band
- Leave to ferment at room temperature (20-23C) for 24-48 hours (as stated above the mixture will likely seperate during this time this is normal and you can simply stir it back together.
- The almond milk kefir is ready once it is tangy and sour, it will not thicken.
- Stir the contents of the jar and then pour through a sieve to remove the grains. They can then be added to either more almond milk or dairy milk.
- Store the finished drink in the fridge (up to 7 days) or consume immediately.